Following the release of their acclaimed third album 'After Hours, Close to Dawn', Melbourne rockers Kingswood have taken on a national tour with supports Maddy Jane and WAAX.
Kingswood are a band of duality – they manage to combine a soulful, vulnerable energy with one of pure aggression and sass. They’re the sort of band that can have you swooning over front man Fergus Linacre’s soulful, melancholic vocals, and then head banging as if your life depends on it just moments later. Drawing a wide range of influence from bands like Led Zeppelin, Queens of the Stone Age and even Nick Murphy, these guys have a distinctive and eclectic sound that weaves rock’n’roll, soul and blues together seamlessly.
Their surprisingly long career of 12 years is a testament to their relentless determination and passion for their work, which translates into a wild, bombastic and fun live show, one that I was lucky enough to witness at the Metro Theatre.
Punk rockers WAAX warm the punters up with a kick ass rendition of Julia Jacklin’s Pool Party. Badass front-chick Marie howls into the chorus with ‘my heart is heavy when you’re high’ before going into chaotic spasms around the stage.
Kingswood kick off with the first track off their latest record, Looking for Love, a feel good, sing along gospel anthem. Belle has quite a psychedelic feel to it with vintage keyboards, Crosby, Stills & Nash-esque harmonies and a guitar outro that pays homage to Hendrix’s iconic reverse guitar effect.
Golden takes on a more sombre tone, with deep soul-infused vocals and smooth-as- shit falsetto. Although understated, the track is moving, raw and sexy. Kingswood seem to grow tired of the melancholia pretty quick, though, and move into Sucker Punch with a driving fuzz guitar and bass combo that knocks any previous vulnerability right out of the ball park. Despite the relative intimacy of the venue, their music still manages to take on the stadium sized proportions it was intended to.
Alabama White, although simple at first, eventually descends into chaos as guitarist Alex Laska shreds and squeals his way into holy oblivion. Laska then cements his status in rock’n’roll history by doing a shooey out of a crowd members dirty shoe, much to the delight of punters in what was probably the most Australian moment in live music in the last year. Shout outs to members of Sticky Fingers are given, who were actually amongst the audience on the night – if you looked close enough, you could spot a wild Freddie Crabs (STIFI’s keyboardist) appearing and scuttling off into the night.
After a short break, the boys come back on stage for an oldie but a goodie, Medusa. Linacre howls in Robert Plant-like fashion over a pounding, banger of a bass line. They then finish on their flagship song for their latest release in Creep, as the crowd sings along in a chorus.
Although these guys have been going nearly 12 years it seems as though momentum is picking up for Kingswood. Their latest offering was bolder and more experimental than their previous records, and their live show is no different. The constant evolution in sound is what makes this band so interesting, and if they can keep it up, we can certainly expect great things from them in the future.
Reviewer - Nic Munellelly